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While available bandwidth and hard drive space are constantly on the rise, so are our requirements - the software we author keeps growing larger and larger. This is even more true when we take into consideration the size of runtime components that our software often depends on - from DirectX in games to MDAC in database applications, each runtime component increases program size, and this invariably reflects in the product downloadable.


InstallAware works very hard to create the smallest possible packages for your setups:

  1. Any compressed files going into your setup are first decompressed using the InstallAware Decompressor. This includes any merge modules, runtime files, and so on. This decompression step is required because pre-compressed data, no matter how badly it was originally compressed, can never be recompressed with a superior algorithm.
  2. The files that comprise your setup itself are processed without any compression until the final step of building your package. InstallAware builds your setup files, adds its own runtime, and prepares the final setup package.
  3. All your application runtimes, merge modules, your application itself, and the InstallAware runtime are then compressed in a single pass using a special algorithm that is optimized for compressing program files. You now have a tightly compressed setup package, with no artificial compression limitations.

InstallAware's unique compressor provides the best rates in the compression industry, outperforming all traditional archive management and setup creation programs:


  • InstallAware provides a ground-breaking data crunching algorithm to make sure setups are as small as possible.
  • The advanced LZMA encoder used in InstallAware uses technologically superior methods of eliminating redundancies across multiple files.
  • InstallAware is even equipped with BCJ2 filters that pre-process your executables and increase their compressibility.
  • InstallAware's brand-new 64-bit compression engine provides the highest compression rates in the entire industry, compressing files smaller than even Microsoft manages to achieve with their own native distributions.


Below is a simple chart that compares the size of several runtime components with and without InstallAware compression. Various legacy runtimes are included to illustrate how dramatic your space savings may be over already compressed package sizes. Note that this chart doesn't even take into account InstallAware's new 64-bit compression engine - expect to save an additional 30% on top of the already enhanced compression savings below, if you are able to use new 64-bit compression. The numbers below are for InstallAware's strongest available compression while remaining compatible with extraction on 32-bit operating systems:


redistributable regular InstallAware size gains
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.8 111 MB 106 MB 5.5%
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7.2 80 MB 71.8 MB 10%
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.2 59.1 MB 54 MB 9%
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 66.8 MB 55.6 MB 17%
Microsoft SQL Server 2019 276 MB 246 MB 11%
Microsoft SQL Server 2017 249 MB 223 MB 11%
Microsoft SQL Server 2016 with Service Pack 1 411 MB 255 MB 38%
Microsoft SQL Server 2014 SP2 x86 and WOW on x64 274 MB 206 MB 25%
Microsoft SQL Server 2014 SP2 x64 311 MB 223 MB 28%
Windows Installer 2.0 3,446 KB 1,770 KB 49%
Internet Explorer 6 79,849 KB 47,110 KB 41%
Microsoft .NET 1.1 23,697 KB 12,338 KB 48%
Microsoft .NET 1.1 with Service Pack 1 34,150 KB 11,403 KB 67%

Microsoft JSharp 1.1

6,764 KB 2,596 KB 61%
Microsoft .NET 2.0 22,959 KB 17,272 KB 25%
Microsoft .NET 3.5 (including .NET 2.0 SP1 and .NET 3.0 SP1) 201,848 KB 131,438 KB 35%
Microsoft SQL Server Express 2005 54,791 KB 33,036 KB 40%